Caliper Life Sciences

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Caliper, A PerkinElmer Company
Industry Biotechnology
Life Sciences
Founded 1995
Headquarters Hopkinton, Massachusetts, United States
Products IVIS Optical Imaging Systems
Liquid Handling Workstations
Plate Management Systems
Evaporation & Solid Phrase Extraction Products
In Vivo Imaging Reagents
In Vitro Reagents
In Vivo Contract Research
In Vitro Contract Research
Number of employees
543 [1]

Caliper, A PerkinElmer Company is based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts with direct sales, service and application-support operations in countries around the globe. Founded in 1995, Caliper develops products and services to the life sciences research community, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and government and other not-for profit research institutions.

Caliper’s integrated systems, consisting of instruments, software and reagents, laboratory automation tools and drug discovery assay services enable researchers to better understand the basis for disease and more effectively discover safe and effective drugs. Caliper’s product portfolio includes, microfluidics, lab automation & liquid handling, optical imaging technologies, and drug discovery & drug development outsourcing solutions.

Microfluidic platform[edit]

Caliper is a pioneer in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technology which represents a significant advancement in laboratory experimentation, bringing the benefits of miniaturization, integration and automation to numerous research-based industries. Caliper’s proprietary microfluidic sipper chips are a high-throughput complement to the planar chips which Caliper manufactures for the Agilent Bioanalyzer 2100. The microfluidic technology forms the basis of Caliper’s LabChip EZ reader systems used for drug screening and profiling and the LabChip GX series for molecular biology DNA, RNA and protein analysis.

Optical imaging[edit]

Through its acquisition of Xenogen Corporation in 2006, Caliper is now a developer of in vivo biophotonic imaging technology, which allows for real-time, non-invasive exploration of genes, proteins, pathogens, and tumor cells in living animals.[3] Caliper offers a complement of patented biophotonic and fluorescent imaging technologies, as well as genetically modified animal programs. Caliper’s imaging product lines include a suite of IVIS imaging systems - many measuring both bioluminescence and fluorescence, in vivo imaging reagents, specialized light producing animal models, and genetic modification programs for pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development. In a recent Japanese study, the IVIS imaging system was used to evaluate the binding affinity and RNA interference (RNAi) of LMWC/siRNA complexes.[4]

Lab automation and liquid handling[edit]

Caliper has held a long standing position in laboratory automation starting with the introduction of the world’s first lab robotic system, the Zymark Zymate. To date, Caliper has a number of lab automation and liquid handling systems for the life sciences industry. In January 2009, the Zephyr Genomics Workstation was introduced which promises to deliver a benchtop solution for automating routine but critical processes for molecular biology such as nucleic acid purification, reaction setup and normalization.

In addition to automating molecular biology, Caliper has many other robotic systems including the Zephyr SPE and RapidTrace SPE workstations to automate solid phase extraction and several liquid handling and plate management systems including the Sciclone ALH 3000 liquid handler and Twister II systems to automate drug discovery and development.

Caliper also custom designs integrated vendor-neutral instruments and software such as the Twister II - LightCycler (Roche) integrated system which fully automates real-time PCR.

Discovery and development outsourcing solutions[edit]

Caliper’s Discovery Alliances & Services division (CDAS) was created from the acquisitions of NovaScreen, a provider of in vitro & in vivo discovery services. CDAS develops, utilizes, and provides a comprehensive array of services to improve the productivity, accelerate the pace, and reduce the cost of the drug discovery process. The in vitro service arm of CDAS includes a comprehensive array of in vitro drug discovery and development solutions including more than 1000 screening assays that help define the mode of action, side effect profiles, selectivity, and other relevant activities of drug candidates. In vivo capabilities include: non-invasive in vivo optical imaging, OncoMouse studies, and in vivo compound evaluations for safety assessment and drug repositioning.


Caliper Life Sciences was founded in 1995 by Larry Bock and Drs. Michael Knapp, Michael Ramsey and Andrea Manz. as Caliper Technologies with a strong focus on microfluidics technology. In 2003, Caliper acquired Zymark a leader in laboratory automation and robotics and Caliper Life Sciences was born. In October 2005, Caliper acquired NovaScreen Biosciences Corporation a privately held CRO offering pre-clinical drug discovery and development services. NovaScreen’s services included in vitro compound profiling for safety assessment, drug discovery screening services for targets such as GPCRs, Kinases, Ion Channels, Transporters, Nuclear Receptors and customized assay development services. In August 2006, Caliper acquired Xenogen Corporation, a developer of in vivo optical imaging systems (IVIS systems) and its division, Xenogen Biosciences a CRO offering in vivo transgenic animal production, phenotyping, gene targeting and in vivo optical imaging services.

At the end of October 2008, SOTAX—a tester and software developer of medical devices—acquired Caliper's Pharmaceutical Development & Quality Analysis (PDQ) Division for $15.8 Million.[5][6] Shortly thereafter on November 10, 2008, Caliper's AutoTrace(r) line of product was acquired by Dionex.[7]

In December 2009, Taconic Biosciences acquired XenoGen Biosciences in vivo pre-clinical CRO subsidiary of Caliper Life Sciences.[8] A year later in December 2010, Caliper purchased Cambridge Research & Instrumentation Inc. for about $20 million in a cash and stock deal.[9]

In September 2011, PerkinElmer agreed to buy Caliper Life Sciences for $600 million.[10] On November 7, 2011, PerkinElmer completed the acquisition of Caliper Life Sciences for a total net purchase price of approximately $600 million in cash.[11]

Intellectual property[edit]

Caliper's portfolio of microfluidics-related patents has been ranked as high as #2 in technological strength in the Biotech/Pharma sector of the MIT Technology Review Patent Scorecard. Caliper actively out-licenses this portfolio as part of its Caliper Driven program to broaden and accelerate the availability of new technologies and products for life science and diagnostics applications. Licensing Caliper's microfluidic intellectual property benefits existing and potential partners by enhancing the strength of their product and service offerings through the incorporation of Caliper’s technology. Caliper also provides commercial and academic customers with proprietary methods via its Optical Imaging Patent Suite. The notification of allowance of Caliper’s patent claims for conjugate fluorescence imaging methods from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has added yet another valuable component to Caliper's widespread intellectual property estate.

Acquisition history[edit]

  • 1995 - Caliper Technologies Corporation is formed
  • 1999 - Caliper goes public in $75 Million offering
  • 2003 - Acquires Zymark
  • 2004 - Company changes name to Caliper Life Sciences
  • 2005 - Acquires NovaScreen Biosciences Corporation
  • 2006 - Acquires Xenogen
  • 2010 - Acquires Cambridge Research & Instrumentation Inc.
  • 2011 - Acquired by PerkinElmer


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Company Profile for Caliper Life Sciences (CALP)". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  3. ^ "Advancing bioluminescence imaging technology for the evaluation of anticancer agents in the MDA-MB-435-HAL-Luc mammary fat pad and subrenal capsule tumor models.". Clin. Cancer Res. 15 (1): 238–46. 2009-01-01. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-0897. PMID 19118051. 
  4. ^ "Evaluation of the binding affinity and RNA interference of low-molecular-weight chitosan/siRNA complexes using an imaging system". Yakugaku Zasshi. 129 (4): 475–84. 2008-10-30. doi:10.1248/yakushi.129.475. PMID 19337002. 
  5. ^ "Caliper sells biz unit for $15.8M to SOTAX". Mass High Tech. 2008-10-30. 
  6. ^ "Caliper Grabs $15.8M In Product Line Sale". Worcester Business Journal. 2008-10-30. 
  7. ^ "Dionex Enters Into Agreement With Caliper Life Sciences to Acquire Product Line for Water Sample Preparation". MarketWatch. 2008-11-10. 
  8. ^ "Taconic Acquires Xenogen Biosciences Subsidiary of Caliper Life Sciences". Taconic. 2009-12-14. 
  9. ^ "Caliper buying Cambridge Research for $20 million". Bloomberg. 2010-12-09. 
  10. ^ Reuters (2011-09-08). "PerkinElmer to buy Caliper for $600 mln". Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  11. ^ Business Wire. "PerkinElmer Completes Acquisition of Caliper Life Sciences". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 

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